Today we’re going a little deeper than fashion, beauty, and travel. This is a topic that has been weighing heavy on my heart for a while and I truly feel called to use the voice I have to share it. I hope it comes helpful to you when you read it. If it does, please let me know!
Everyone has a unique story. They all include happy times, sad times, hard times, and even just “neutral” times, as I like to call them. As Christians, we seem to walk through our story in an almost careful way. We ask questions like “Is this the right path that God wants me to take?” and “Why did God put me through this situation?” Sometimes situations are hard to get through, and you wonder why would God put you through that hard time? We’ve all heard the phrase “God will never give you more than you can handle,” but sometimes that is really hard to believe. These are times when our heart is hurting, our stomach flips, and maybe you can do nothing but cry. Nothing seems to bring you back to your happy self, and you think that you could live the rest of your life like a hermit.
When you go through hard times that make you feel this way, it’s hard to keep your faith strong. You feel yourself fading away like a relationship slowly falling apart. That feeling is okay, because it happens to everyone but you can always fix your relationship with God. He will always be there waiting for you. It just takes a little work. Recently, and not so recently, I’ve had times like this. I have felt my faith start to fade because staying strong just seems too hard. Luckily, I have ways to pick back up again and push through. When I’m at my lowest is sometimes when I feel closest to God, because I have such an urge to actually be closer to Him.
Psalm 46:1-3 “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.”
When we are feeling like nothing is going right, we have to look to God, Himself, for strength. But, how do you find the will to do this when you are losing your faith because the world seems against you? Below are a few tips that help me keep my faith strong when I am struggling. I hope they help you, too!
This post may contain affiliate links, but suggestions and opinions are completely non-biased! Read more here.
Find A Distraction
1 Corinthians 10:31 So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
Find a temporary distraction from what is making you feel down and weak, not from God. This can be anything from listening to music that makes you feel calm and happy, finding a hobby that you love, going for a run, anything. Whatever it is that you find peace and happiness in.
This alone has gotten me through so many hard times. In high school, I was a huge band geek…HUGE. Over half of my life was spent in the music program and keeping me distracted from the hardships that seemed to follow me. When playing music, I was in my own happy world, and no one could take it away from me. Today, I resort to painting, drawing, or doing anything artsy. I also have certain music artists that I listen to when I need to be calmed down. My two favorites are Dave Matthews Band and Norah Jones.
What are your hobbies? If you can’t think of any outside of watching TV, think about something you’ve always wanted to try. Maybe you’ve always wanted to try watercolor painting or hand lettering…give it a go! The only thing stopping you is you. You’ll be surprised how something as simple as a hobby can make you feel closer to God. He gave you these talents for a reason – use them!
Keep Reading The Word
Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
This is one that I am guilty of not doing as much as I should, and I know it is one of the most important ones. Whether it be the bible or a daily devotional, make time out of the day to read the Lord’s words. Some days you open whatever you are reading to just the right page that seems to be written for you in that moment. That is God speaking to you! Find comfort in the Word and find meaning in it. Let it make you cry, laugh, smile, whatever it makes you feel. Let those feelings come out through His word! This can also be considered a wonderful distraction from the weight of the world that you are feeling.
Below are a few links to some daily devotionals that my friend, Nicole, suggested to me. If you end up checking one out, let me know what you think about it!
If you find some verses that really speak to you, make note of them. Write them on a piece of paper to put in your wallet so you will see it every time you open it, or use your artistic hobby to hand-letter or paint it on something that you can hang up in your home and see every day to remind you that God is with you and for you.
Keep Your Friends Close
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
Photo by Sarah Morrel Photography
That is what they are there for. Everyone has at least one friend that they can tell anything to. Go to them, talk to them. Go to church with them. Any true friend will stay with you, listen to you, and love you through your hardships. I find that God speaks to me through my friends to push me through difficult situations all the time, even when they don’t realize it. It was actually a friend’s words that pushed me to start telling my story through my blog and to use my voice to share the Lord’s work and love with you!
Find an Accountability Partner
James 5:16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
Kind of tying into the previous tip, grab one of those friends to keep you accountable. Someone who will drag you to church on days when you just want to sleep your Sunday away, or check in with you to see if you have read your daily devotional yet. Maybe you can read the same one at the same time so you can talk about today’s words together. You can do the same for them, as well. That person could be your husband, your best friend, your roommate, anyone.
In college, my senior year roommate (now one of my best friends) was my biggest accountability partner. We went to church together (almost) every Sunday, even if we went out late the night before. She was constantly reminding me of how much Jesus loves us through our everyday lives and also through the bible study she led. An accountability partner is SO important to have, especially when you are struggling with your faith.
Philippians 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
Y’all knew this one was going to be here. It’s so obvious that it’s almost cliché, but seriously…over all things, pray. Pray, pray, pray. God is listening, and he might even answer some of those prayers. He is there for you, through all times, and all you have to do is talk to him. Sometimes saying a simple prayer can make you feel a little more at ease, even if it is temporary. I find myself praying myself to sleep on nights after a really tough day. It calms my mind just enough, as if God is laying his hand on mine and saying “It’s ok, I’ve got this.”
It’s Okay To Be Angry…For a Little Bit.
Ephesians 4:31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.
Being angry is a normal feeling that everyone has. That being said, a time when you are losing faith is no time to start pointing fingers or blaming others for the way you are feeling. My hope is the tips above will help to ease that anger, worry, or any other negative feelings you are having. It is okay to be angry, but don’t stay angry. Instead, think of the love that the Lord has for us and do what you can to really feel it. I know when I get that feeling of His love when I’m down in the dumps, my heart feels like it could burst. Feeling the love that Jesus has for us is so overwhelmingly wonderful, it’s a feeling that is really hard to truly describe.
Job 5:11 “He sets on high those who are lowly, and those who mourn are lifted to safety.”
The most important thing to remember is that God is there for you, even if it doesn’t seem like it. We have to put our trust in Him, especially when it’s hardest to.
Psalm 23:4 “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”
What are some ways you stay closer to the Lord when it seems hardest? Tell me in the comments below!